Recently I was reading somewhere (needless to say my goldfish brain can’t remember where) about the psychological benefits of keeping a ‘gratitude journal’. Apparently the small act of writing down three small, specific things daily for which you are thankful boosts feelings of positivity and contentment and can significantly reduce stress. Now, I have slight issues with the ‘daily’ part (as regular followers of this blog might not be surprised to hear) but I’m all in favour of the stress relief thing and the increased positivity, especially when everything outside is the colour of sludge, there’s a big, Christmas-tree shaped space in my sitting room, I have a book due far too soon and all of my clothes seem to have shrunk by two sizes. Here’s my specially-extended-to-cover-all-of-January gratitude list...
- We escaped all the horrible viruses going around over Christmas. The school car park is full of stories of turkey and Prosecco being replaced by Neurofen MaxPlus and Lemsip, and children too poorly to take much interest in whether Father Christmas had been. (Have noticed though that none of the people relating these tales have the same problem doing their jeans up as I do. So if you were afflicted with Festive Flu perhaps that might be worth noting in your gratitude journal…??)
- I’m thankful for my sisters-in-law. I have three brothers who are married to three warm, funny, kind, talented (and beautiful, but I’m prepared to forgive them that) women who I’d absolutely want as my friends if my thoughtful brothers hadn’t gone one better and made them into family. So I guess that means I can also say I’m thankful for my brothers too.
- On a similar note, I’m thankful for and to all the readers who email from all over the world and invariably say things that make me glow inside. (V important when on the outside skin has taken on the colour and texture of ancient parchment and only glows after two glasses of wine drunk while sitting too close to the fire.)
- ...And leading on from that… I’m insanely grateful to all you lovely American ladies who bought The Society Wife and put it at no 2 on Borders last week and no 82 on the USA Today list. Inside positively incandescent when I discovered that!
- Being horribly shallow, I was thankful for/excited about the bottle of Cristal Champagne He brought home from work just before Christmas. I’ve read about it, mentioned it in my own books (though can’t remember if the mentions stayed in through copy-edits, actually) and admired its pretty packaging in the posh wine shop window in town. I’m also thankful that, being a complete philistine, I couldn’t tell the difference between that and Sainsbury’s finest. I'm calling that a saving of £200 every celebratory occasion.
- Just Dance/ Just Dance 2 on the Wii, both of which appeared under our tree this Christmas. Much hilarity, although trying to keep up with Teen Dancing Queen daughters is a sobering reminder of my age. Although, who would have thought He would turn out to be such a hot MC Hammer impersonator, or that after 20 years I'd still be finding stuff out that I didn't know about my husband?
- I’m thankful that, due to my utter flakiness in seeing through my new year resolutions for 2010 I am saved from having to think up more for 2011. And that the house and the fridge are both empty now and, positive energy duly recharged, I can finally get down to some proper work.
So, does anyone actually keep a gratitude journal? If you did what would you put down for today?